Celebrating Award-Winning Student Documentaries

Thursday, December 17, 2020
The eight documentary filmmakers who participated in last winter's documentary filmmaking class. From L to R: Samantha C. ’20, Isabel H. ’21, Clea W. ’20, Amelia R. ’20, Emma G. ’22, Lucza B. ’23, Kate P. ’21, Tioné H. ’20
 

As part of Waterford’s Visiting Artist program, in winter 2019-20 we offered an extraordinary opportunity for eight of our students to work with acclaimed documentary filmmaker Jenny Mackenzie.  These students pursued an intensive workshop in which they learned about social issue documentary filmmaking while conceiving and creating films of their own.

Divided into three teams, our students put in dozens upon dozens of hours of work outside of class time — in planning, filming, and post-production of three short films. Their tremendous passion shines through in the impressive finished product that each of the three teams achieved. 

This week in Middle and Upper School, students watched each of the three documentaries during Morning Meeting to celebrate the work of this amazing group of students. We also held a special lunchtime premiere event in the Concert Hall on Wednesday and Thursday.  On both days, the three films were projected (and streamed) with the filmmakers present on stage (in person and via Zoom) for congratulations and a brief Q&A.

All three films have earned accolades and recognition, but one in particular, DACAmented, has had an amazing run of success at festivals. This film is an intimate look into the life of a young DACA recipient. Some of the more notable recognitions have included: London Independent Film Awards (Best Documentary Short - Student), Boston International Kids Film Festival (Featured Film), Williamsburg International Film & Music Competition (Student Documentary Short Film Runner-Up), Los Angeles LatinX Film Festival (Featured Film) and Voices for Utah Children Film Festival (Featured Film) and annual Student Voice Award.

We are so proud of these eight students, and suspect that this will not be the last film that many of them make.  We hope you will check out their impressive finished products:  waterfordschool.org/films2020

The films:
'Amal, by Lucza B. ’22, Isabel H. ’21, and Tione H. ’21
DACAmented, by Samantha C. ’20, Emma G. ’22, and Kate P. ’21
Kilgore, by Amelia R. ’20 and Clea W. ‘20